Updated Monday, March 10, 2014: Reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning has bested wildcard Dane Reynolds in Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast with a score of 15.83 to Reynolds's 13.86. Today's win brings their match record to 4:3 in Fanning's favor.
The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Bank of Queensland, as the first event of the ASP World Championship Tour, is an important sign on the long road of every season. For some it can quickly kickstart a world title campaign and for others prove they belong in the best waves, competing against the best surfers. When Round 3 competition begins, the event will host some highly-anticipated matchups, with the Heat 6 clash between reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning and unranked event wildcard Dane Reynolds arguably topping the list.
Mick Fanning (AUS) - reigning three-time ASP World Champion
The pride of the Gold Coast, Mick Fanning originally hails from the inland Sydney suburb of Penrith. Relocating to Tweed Heads at age 12, Fanning became fast friends with Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison and the three quickly became State and National surf stars with celebrated junior careers. A wildcard win at the prestigious Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in 2001, at 19 years old preceded a qualification run that would see Fanning join the elite tour in 2002.
After finishing an impressive third in only his second year on the WCT tour, Fanning suffered a near career-ending hamstring injury in 2004. He rebounded in stunning fashion in 2005 with a win at his first event back - the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Fanning clinched the first of his three ASP World Titles in 2007, followed by two additional cups in 2009 and 2013, cementing him in some people's minds as one of the best surfers to ever walk the Earth. Fanning's tremendous commitment to fitness, incredible competitive focus and lightning-fast surfing make him one of the most dangerous surfers alive when the clock is ticking and a judges panel deliberates.
Fanning's Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Results
2013: Equal 3rd
2012: Equal 13th
2011: Equal 13th
2010: Equal 9th
2009: Equal 3rd
2006: Equal 17th
2004: Equal 33rd
2003: Equal 3rd
2002: Equal 17th
Dane Reynolds (USA) - former ASP WCT No. 4, freesurfing virtuoso
Born in the Southern California city of Long Beach and currently residing in Ventura, Dane Reynolds was a relative latecomer to the professional surfing world, but dynamic ability and mind-bending ocean prowess provided the fuel for a meteoric rise to the world stage. Honing his approach on groomed Santa Barbara pointbreaks and powerful Ventura beachbreaks, Reynolds in 2006 documented an impressive amateur career with his seminal film Dane Reynolds: First Chapter.
A qualification run in 2007 saw Reynolds join the WCT elite the following season and the progressive natural-footer quickly went about changing the way the world's best surfers approached heats with a no-holds-barred assault on competition. He recorded a banner year in 2010 when Reynolds finished 4th on the ASP WCT rankings, only to have a knee injury in 2011 force him out of several events, before ultimately stepping away from full-time competition in 2012.
After a two-year sabbatical from full-time competition, Reynolds is registered for a number of Qualification Series (QS) events in 2014, hinting at an interest in rejoining the world's best surfers on the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT). Characterized by massive aerials and full-velocity turns, some argue Reynolds's surfing is the most unpredictable and amazing on the planet.
Reynolds's Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Results
2013: Equal 13th (as a wildcard)
2012: Equal 25th (as a wildcard)
2011: Did not compete
2010: Equal 3rd
2009: Equal 9th
2008: Equal 17th
2007: Did not compete
2006: Did not compete
2005: Did not compete
2004: Equal 33rd (as a wildcard)
Match History - Fanning: 4, Reynolds: 3
Fanning and Reynolds have now met seven times in competition, with Fanning tipping the balance with four wins to Reynolds's three. Fanning collected a major victory when he beat Reynolds on the Californian's home turf at Lower Trestles in the Final of the 2009 Hurley Pro.
Reynolds previously held the most recent win, besting the three-time ASP World Champion at his own home break in Round 1 of this year's Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Despite hailing from diverse backgrounds with distinctly different approaches to training and preparation, Fanning and Reynolds are considered two of the greatest surfers on the planet.
2006: Boost Mobile Pro at Trestles - Fanning wins in Heat 1 of Round 2
2007: Boost Mobile Pro at Trestles - Reynolds wins in Heat 8 of Round 3
2008: Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay - Fanning wins in Heat 9 of Round 1
2009: Hurley Pro at Trestles - Fanning wins in Final
2012: Quiksilver Pro France - Reynolds wins in Heat 6 of Round 3
2013: Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast - Reynolds wins in Heat 6 of Round 1 2013: Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast - Fanning wins in Heat 6 of Round 3 * Three-man Heat*